South African Junior Davis Cup team member and Gauteng Central player, Bertus Kruger won big on Saturday. The 17 year old Johannesburg based junior, captured The Axnosis ITF in the countries capital. Not only did the St Stithians College learner win the singles, but he took the doubles title too.
Second seeded Kruger needed 1 hour, 17 minutes to beat fifth seeded Mehluli Sibanda of Zimbabwe 6-1 6-4 for the singles crown played at the Brooklyn Union Club.
Although the win gave Kruger his sixth international title, it was extra satisfying as it was his first Grade 3 title victory. His previous five wins were in Grade 5 tournaments.
“I am so excited about this win. I really started the match well capitalising on the nerves of Mehluli. But as Mehluli gradually got comfortable on court the match got tighter and the second set was hard fought” said Kruger.
Kruger made an early break in the second game of the first set and dominated a “out of sorts” Mehluli to win the opening set in a quick 26 minutes. In the second set Kruger broke at in the notorious seventh game and then held serve to win the set and title.
“I have played good tennis all week. I started the tournament well but had a tough semi-finals against Lleyton Cronje. I think on Friday I was really nervous against, knowing I am one match from the final, and it showed in my game” said Kruger. Kruger was in all sorts of trouble against fourth seeded Cronje in Friday, coming from set and match point down to finally win the marathon match 6-7 (3) 6-4 7-4 (6).
In the girls singles final, a sister act, 1st seed, Sina Zuger of Switzerland beat her unseeded sibling Joanne Zuger, 6-2 6-1 for the title.
Bertus Kruger claimed his second title when he teamed up with Sibanda to win the boys title. The top seeds beat South Africa’s Montsi brothers,7 Kholo and Sipho, seeded five, 6-2 6-2.
The girls doubles title went to second seeds Amelie Boy of Mauritius and her American partner Katie Lafrance. They beat unseeded British pair Victoria Allen and MJ Changwereza 6-3 6-4.